- December 5, 2017 at 12:28 am #315864
The Pale Chanting Goshawk is quite common in our South African reserves. It is quite an interesting raptor, hunting for its prey not only from the air but also on the ground. Its most characteristic perch is at the highest point of a tree where it waits for any movement of small prey on the ground below.
Most birds go through various stages of transformation until adulthood and this one is no exception. In fact, if one does not know any better, you would think that each phase of this bird's transformation is from a different species. One of the reasons being that it is fully grown before the first transformation occurs.
The juvenile phase:
The Sub-adult phase:
The adult phase:
- This topic was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Tobie.
- December 5, 2017 at 11:53 am #315897
- December 5, 2017 at 11:51 pm #315970
- December 5, 2017 at 12:56 pm #315898
- December 5, 2017 at 11:52 pm #315971
- December 5, 2017 at 1:31 pm #315912
Very nice Tobie. Boy, that adult looks like it's ready to peck somebody's eyeball out.
- December 5, 2017 at 11:42 pm #315967
Thanks Kent! These birds are in fact fearless. On one of our trips I saw a juvenile taking on (with caution) a full-grown sun-basking Cape Cobra. The cobra lifted its head in attacking mode for a moment, then realized that this bird is not going to back down and fled into a thick bush close by (if not for the bush, thing would have gotten very interesting!).
Unfortunately I was just too late to take a nice action shot and only caught the last part of the snake disappearing into the bush. I have cropped out the snake & tree part here, but look at this attitude as it was watching the snake on the flee. After this it flew up to the top of the bush and kept on searching for the snake:
- December 7, 2017 at 10:02 am #316068
Wow! Cool story!
- December 5, 2017 at 2:36 pm #315926
Great stuff, Tobie! Reminds me of prize fighters ready for action, with such muscular showing.
- December 5, 2017 at 11:42 pm #315968
- December 5, 2017 at 3:10 pm #315929
Great photos Tobie, love the adult.
- December 5, 2017 at 11:43 pm #315969
Thanks Cindy! Yea they are beautiful indeed!
- December 6, 2017 at 2:08 am #315988
Wow, what a huge contrast between the juvenile and adult phase. Looks very majestic and beautiful set of images Tobie. I like how you have captured the colours and contrast in these images (Were they shot in midday?) although the light is very bright and their colours seem to match the colours in the background (especially with the lion images and the juvenile hawk above looking for the cobra)
Learning a lot from your wildlife images; very interesting and loving it 🙂
- December 6, 2017 at 9:03 am #316003
Thanks so much Dahlia! The northern Cape up to the Kalahari desert where these shots were taken is extremely dry at the moment, not having had rain for many years. This is evident in all of my ground shots and obviously suits the color of the lions. If they lie down in the grasses a few feet from you, you wouldn't know that they're there (as if they need any help to disappear)!
Most lion shots were taken early morning (up to about 9h00) and late afternoon (after 17h00). This poses interesting problems in PP as they look unnaturally yellow. I had to lower the saturation in the yellows on most of them. This is a shot where I have left the yellows alone but in this case I actually like it. The setting sun was just above the horizon and the lion walked into a ‘line' of sunshine:
- December 7, 2017 at 4:09 am #316057
Wow, no rain for many years? So do the animals have spring water or any rivers passing by?
I like the light in the above image Tobie. The colour also works well for the light condition. What an adventurous experience! 🙂
- December 7, 2017 at 12:47 pm #316077
There are boreholes right next or in the river bed, Dahlia. Some of them have dried up but most are still producing water. The water tastes a little brackish, except for the camps not next to the river bed which produce proper brackish water – as salty as sea salt. The amazing thing is that these animals drink that salty water as it is all they have.
It was a great experience indeed! Lions are always the optimum subject to see and we have seen them every day of our stay in the park. Someone up there must love us! 🙂
- December 7, 2017 at 10:03 am #316069
LOVE this lion shot!!
- December 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm #316079
Thanks Kent! 🙂
- December 6, 2017 at 10:12 am #316008
Stunning images Tobie !
Bird photography is not that easy, you spot them and pst – they are gone. Or they sit high up, backlit or low behind bushes and trees where you can´t move in on them without disturbing.
These days I am going through the bird images I took in Trinidad with aid of books and internet. Many of their local sp. go through morphological transitions as you describe above. Some of them are incredibly difficult to identify – but interesting and rewarding to study.
- December 6, 2017 at 11:57 pm #316048
Agreed Elin! To identify the females in some species with certainty is a ‘real' challenge and much more difficult than identifying the juveniles. Sometimes it's impossible so the only real ‘evidence' of who they belong to is to see them fly around with their male ‘partners'. A good example of this is our sunbirds. Most females look very close to this:
- December 9, 2017 at 4:55 pm #316300
Amazingly beautiful shots Tobie! We have a Goshawk here in the UK, but it doesn't change it's appearance like the one you've shown.
- December 9, 2017 at 5:17 pm #316303
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